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Review of Aura del Mar Hotel

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Aura del Mar Hotel
Ranked #2 of 78 Hotels in Zihuatanejo
Certificate of Excellence
Indianola, Iowa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Choose This Hotel!!!”
Reviewed May 22, 2006

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Brisis Del Mar in Zihuatanejo. We can't say enough good about it. First of all, thanks to all of you who reviewed this hotel for this website. It was very helpful, and the main reason we picked Brisas. We weren't disappointed.

Most of what I have to say has already been said in previous reviews, but this is a very homey place to stay AND is very reasonably priced. The hotel has an authentic Mexican look and feel to it. The rooms are very clean, and almost all of them have a great view of the beach with a large balcony with two chaise lounges and a hammock. (We stayed in Room #10. For extra, you can also get a balcony with a jacuzzi.) The rooms are very spacious with large beds and bathroom. The mattress was very firm and sits on a concrete platform, which is in keeping with the decor of the room. It may feel a bit hard, but even a middle-aged guy like me got used to it by the second night.

The hotel sits right on the bay, along Playa La Madera. The beach is not as pretty as Playa La Ropa or Playa Las Gatas, but a short cab ride (or 20 minute walk) gets you to La Ropa or a water taxi can take you to Las Gatas, both of which I also recommend. But, we spent most of our time on La Madera. It is a much smaller beach, but very clean and quiet, especially during the week. Its other big advantage is that it is much, much closer to Zihuatanejo (a 10 minute walk, at most, along the beach) than from La Ropa. It makes it very easy to visit this lovely little town. We didn't go over to Ixtapa at all. We didn't feel any need to. Everything we wanted for this vacation was right there in Zihuatanejo or at Brisas del Mar.

We thought the food at the hotel was just fine. And the wait staff (Francisco, Edgar, Jesus, et al) was very, very friendly. You must try the Ensala de Jilomate y Queso de Cabra (salad with tomato w/ goat cheese). For the best ceviche, go just down the beach to MJ and Richie's, owned and managed by a very nice gentleman, Raphael. He also makes a great breakfast, but so does Brisas.

Another thing I would recommend is getting a massage from Lupita. I think it's 400 pesos (about $40) for an hour. Believe me, it's worth it!

But the very, very best thing I can recommend about Hotel Brisas is the staff. As foreigners, we want to feel welcome, and everyone at Brisas Del Mar makes you feel welcome, not in an obsequious way, but more like they are inviting you into their home. Our very special thanks to our very special friends: Lorena (the manager), Janet, Santiago, Alejandro, Francisco, and Zihuatanejo's best bartender, Federico. (Margaritas in the U.S. will taste like lemonade after you've had one of his.)

Will we stay there again? You bet! If you want a relaxing, hassle-free vacation that actually feels like you're in Mexico rather than a resort, Brisas Del Mar is the place to go.

Feel free to write me if you have questions.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Richard0058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 18, 2006

We stayed at the Brisas del Mar May 4-13 in a Junior Suite with a jacuzzi (suite #16) We were also married here and stayed for our honeymoon. Lorena Negrete made all of the arrangements for our wedding and we couldn't have asked for anything more. It was beautiful! Our suite was awesome, complete with a queen bed (yes, the beds are a bit hard by U.S. standards, but by the second night we slept wonderful) large bathroom with double sinks and large tub, refrigerator and balcony with the jacuzzi, hammock, table and chairs plus two chaise lounges. Did I mention the incredible view of the bay?! If you want quiet and privacy on your balcony, this is the room. We had our wedding ceremony on the terrace at sunset; Lorena arranged for the judge, flowers, cake and photographer for us and everything was perfect. The staff at this hotel is fantastic; they do not know the meaning of the word, "No." Janet, Santiago, Francisco, Federico, Lorena and Alejandro are wonderfully helpful and always smiling.

There were quite a few steps from the lobby level to the beach, but after the first day, you really don't notice anymore. A massage from Lupita will help those aching calves...(she's Iincredible!) This hotel has lots of little details that really set it apart from the rest. The bath robes, flower petals and towel art on your bed each day from housekeeping, and the grounds are perfectly kept with lush blooming landscaping and fountains everywhere. It is truly a beautiful hotel and you can tell it is carefully managed. This is a small, charming hotel (29 rooms) with lots of personality and is family owned. It is tastefully decorated with Mexican furniture and crafts, with attention to detail. If you are more geared toward the huge resorts with cookie-cutter rooms, this is not the place for you. My friend who came for our wedding stayed at the Barcelo in Ixtapa; the three of us were by the pool when my husband and I were asked to leave because we were not guests. My friend argued that she was a guest, and we were told, "The pool is for guests, this is a business..." All three of us left and went to our Brisas del Mar, where my friend was welcomed and given a towel for the pool and told to enjoy herself as their (and our) guest for as long as she wanted. We also met another couple who were staying at Brisas del Mar who said they had gone to check out the Barcelo for possible future trips and were in the pool area where their requests to buy drinks were ignored before they were eventually asked to leave... because they were not guests. We will NEVER stay at a Barcelo anywhere. As they stated, "It's a business."

Back at the Brisas del Mar, if you walk a short distance up the beach, there are lots of little restaurants out on the beach that serve good, inexpensive food. We went out each morning and had fresh guacamole, homemade chips and tortillas and margaritas for brunch and then went back that evening to try another restaurant for dinner. Each one is a little different, but all were quite good. We especially liked El Mediterano for unique seafood and Italian dishes. You can take a water taxi over to Playa Las Gatas, where the water is clearer than Playa La Madera. There are lots of little restaurants on the white sand beach where you can sit and have a beer or a margarita and swim and snorkel.

If there is anything negative to say, it would have to be that the beach is not as pretty as Playa Las Gatas or La Ropa and the food at the hotel restaurant is mediocre. The sand is soft but not white and pretty like other areas. We ate at the restaurant at the hotel a few times; their appetizers and soups are pretty good, but the entres left someting to be desired, but we like sampling the local restaurants, anyway.

With that said, this hotel is still everything we could have wanted. We were going back and forth between the Brisas del Mar and Catalina Beach Resort before making our reservations. After getting there and seeing both hotels, it was a no brainer for us. The Catalina is on busy Playa La Ropa and the hotel itself is run-down with little lansdscaping and no little details like the Brisas. I told my husband if we had booked the Catalina I would have been severely disappointed; we would have left. We definitely made the right choice for us. We had a fun, relaxing wedding and honeymoon and would definitely return to the Brisas del Mar!

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 5 Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2006

My friend and I stayed at Brisas del Mar the week of April 17th. It was a beautiful, restful and friendly place to stay. The view from our balcony was amazing. It's easy to spend the day there reading and sipping drinks! The hotel location is great- a short walk to town and restaurants. There are a lot of stairs, but it keeps you in shape for the week!

I am surprised more people haven't commented on how good the food is at the hotel restaurant. The ceviche, soups and salads we had were great. The prices may have been a little higher than some places, but not much, and the setting is perfect. The restaurant staff was very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Anabanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 16, 2006

We recently spent a week (April 1-8) at the Brisas del Mar. We absolutely loved it! We stayed in a Jr. Suite and it was exactly what we were looking for. The bathrooms were large, the king-size bed (although a little hard) had different flower arrangements on it everyday and the balcony was the perfect size and had an amazing view. The air condioner worked great, the toilets flushed, we had hot water at all times of the day and the maid came in to clean often.

The hotel itself was amazing! It had everything we needed. (Along with a little store across the street to buy water, snacks and beer). The location was beautiful! It is high enough up to get a great view, but not too high, otherwise the walk up the stairs would be a little tough. The service was great - everyone was really friendly and happy to help.

The beach and pool areas were beautiful! There are plenty of chairs, so you do not have to get up early to stake your claim. The sand on the beach is super soft with little to no shells or rocks. You can tell how soft and fine the sand is when you look in the water - it is not clear, it has little sand particles in it. The water is warm and the waves are good-sized - perfect for boogie boarding. We even saw a bunch of dolphins playing in the bay one of the days. There are not too many people out on the beach during the week. It is kind of nice, it feels secluded. It does get much busier on the weekends when the locals come out to play.

The restaurant had decent food. We had lunch there twice. We opted to go to MJ and Richie's (right down the beach) for lunch most of the days. It was much less expensive. They had great pico de gallo and guacamole that they made to order. We tried most things on the menu and always had a great meal. For dinner, we went out every night. There are a bunch of really great restaurants in Zihuatanejo; La Cala, Il Mare and Coconuts. La Cala and Il Mare both have breathtaking views and great food. Coconuts is right in downtown and was definitely one of our favorites. We also went to Bucaneros and Reuben's Hamburgers in Ixtapa, which were both great!

The bar up near the reservation desk has the best bartender - Frederico. Fred makes the best sangria. He speaks little English, but tries hard and loves to smile and laugh. Make sure to stop up there for happy hour.

All in all, it was a great trip! If you are looking for a incredibly relaxing week or weekend this is the place!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalispell
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2006

We stayed in the Bahia Suite with our 2 year old. Loved every minute and everything about Hotel Brisas del Mar. Very Clean, very friendly and personable staff. I would not recommend the resturant-mediocre food at high prices. You can take a short 10 minute stroll along the boardwalk/ocean to downtown for awesome food. And this place is very kid friendly, they had a highchair and crib in the room when we arrived. The location is great on a quiet swimmable beach. Travel Agency in the lobby to help with recommendations and reservations. Go directly to the BLUE building at the end of the pier to book your fishing boats. Do Not go with someone who is not part of the Sportfishing Coop-you are looking to be taken for a ride. Cheapest swim w/ dolphins (Ixtapa) in Mexico.
As a Travel Agent I could go on and on.
Stay at the Hotel Brisas del Mar, you will not regret it!!!!

  • Stayed January 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Tracy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Culver City, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2006

My fiance and I recently stayed at Brisas del Mar from March 2-5 and it was fantastic. Santiago and Janet were so nice! We stayed in a Junior suite and it was beautiful. La Madera beach was very relaxing and not crowded. If you want to get away from it all, I highly recommend staying here. We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank rwebster79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma, California
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2006

We just returned from a week (March 1-8) at the Brisas Del Mar in Zihuatanejo and it was even better than the reviews that had helped us decide to stay there. First of all, it is always a little scary when you book somewhere that you don't know anything about, but thanks to Trip Advisor's review pages we made the right choice. The staff was more than helpful, even answering and giving suggestions via email before we even got there. Janet and Santiago are fantastic staff that work at the front desk and never tire of one's many questions (and I had alot). Fredrico runs the lobby "happy hour" bar and he makes a mean margarita. He is a lovely man with 6-7 kids and grandchildren. He loves talking (in his broken English, but good) about his family. The rooms are fantastic too. Our first night we stayed in a Master Suite #107 (a great room and large) with hot tub on the deck because our room wasn't available until the next day. It was no problem and they moved us very easily the next day to the Zihua Suite #12 and this was heaven. The room is very large with a small kitchenette, king bed area, living area with two couches, coffee tables,and a table and chairs if you wanted to eat inside. We never did, as the deck had a table and two chairs, two chaise lounges, hammock and hot tub that faced the Zihuatanejo Bay. We would walk into the town every morning (about 10-15 minute walk) and then return to the hotel for pool time or beach time and then the good old hot tub from 5-6pm. The temp was on the average about 85 degrees every day...no wind at all, but still pleasant. Now for eating....there is a very convenient little grocery store directly across the street from the hotel and good prices too..for beers, etc. The restaurant at the hotel is good for maybe your first night and you are tired, but it is so much more interesting to venture out of the area and try some of the many GREAT places to eat. Here are some of our favorites. 1)Rufo's Grill (bottom of hill from hotel) great locals place and everything is grilled on mesquite and is wonderful, try the shrimps. Very inexpensive. Dinner only. 2) La Gula's (up the street from Rufo's) great dinner and the presentation was fantastico. They give you chilled cloths to wipe your hands and very good service to go along with very good food. Moderate prices too. 3) La Mare (up the road from the hotel heading towards Playa La Ropa). Italian style restaurant with outstanding views of the bay (open for B,L& D). The food was excellent, service was mesa mesa and it is pricey. 4)Caprichio's (downtown, next door to the church) very good in a lovely garden and the food and service were great. Dinner only. 5) La Sirena Gorda (downtown near pier) for fish tacos
6)Paty's (on Playa La Ropa) for breakfast or lunch and you can sit on the beach under umbrellas all day as long as you eat there. Things to do....we did nothing, but relax and one day took the water taxi to Playa las Gatas for snorkeling and laying on the beach. Many restaurants along the beach and they all offer their lounges with umbrellas as long as you order food for the entire day. Price of water taxi roundtrip was 30 pesos and you keep your ticket for the return trip. We heard that the catamaran trips, the Picante or the Dancer were good, but we just ran out of time. Saving that for next trip back.
We had a great time and thanks to all of the past reviews that made this trip a success.

Helpful?
25 Thank ilava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aura del Mar Hotel

Property: Aura del Mar Hotel
Address: Eva Samano de Lopez Mateos s/n | Playa La Madera, Zihuatanejo, Mexico (Formerly Brisas del Mar Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Guerrero > Zihuatanejo
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#2 Spa Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#2 Family Hotel in Zihuatanejo
#6 Romantic Hotel in Zihuatanejo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aura del Mar Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aura del Mar is a boutique-hotel in a Mexican fishing village, known for its hospitality and privacy. It's the perfect choice to get to know Zihuatanejo, relax and enjoy the sea. We offer a privileged location at the seashore in La Madera beach. Walking distance to downtown Zihua. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Brisas Del Mar Zihuatanejo
Hotel Brisas Del Mar

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